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Old Jan 31, 2010, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default Beating the drums: A cultural tradition

For most westerners Okinawa and Japan generally seem to be one and the same partly because of proximity and some perhaps because of memories of World War II and the US-Japan conflict.
There are very distinct cultural differences between Okinawans and Mainland Japanese.
One simple difference can be seen in these two photos. Both photos show a very traditional drum ceremony called Taiko (literally "drum"). The tradition is of ancient Chinese origin and enthusiastically adopted by the Japanese. Today it has travelled around the world and "Taiko" ensembles are found in places as disparate as Canada, Singapore, and USA.

The first photo shows a performance by an Okinawan club. The drummer is mobile and the drums are small enough to be carried over the shoulder. The second shot is of a group from mainland Japan. Note the drum is fixed although the drummer certainly isn't.

Taiko drums can be taller than and average person and some have been crafted from the trunk of a huge tree.

Last edited by selvin; Jan 31, 2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Corrected spelling
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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Nice story, nicely illustrated!

Well done!!!

If I had only seen the pictures, I would have learned nothing; if I had only read the story, I would have learned nothing.

Today, I learned enough to wish to learn more.

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